Brody Ray Harrell….welcome to the world

Published 7:14 pm Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Twenty-eight years, three months, twenty-nine days, five hours, and thirty-three minutes.

That’s how much time had elapsed since the last time I fell in love.

It was shortly before 2:30 a.m. on the morning of July 21, 1985 that I first laid eyes on the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. It was on that Sunday morning within what is now Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital that Danielle Rae Bryant came into this world, forever changing the lives of her proud parents.

Twenty-eight years and two days shy of four months later, that same lump came in my throat and my heart raced again, so full of love and happiness, as I witnessed my baby girl give life of her own.

As the clock struck eight last Tuesday morning, a six-pound, 15-ounce bundle of joy made his first appearance. Only a slight whimper was heard from his tiny body, but as his lungs filled with the air of the outside world for the first time and his color changed from stone gray to a blushing pink, that whimper turned to full-fledge cry. It was the sweetest sound I have ever heard.

My grandson, Brody Ray Harrell, is now one week old. Both he and Danielle are doing fine, and there’s not enough elbow grease on planet Earth to wipe the smile from daddy Brandon’s face. Ditto for “Nana” (Deborah) as well as granddad and grandma Harrell (Ashley and Sheryl).

Yep, it’s an exciting time in the lives of the Bryants and the Harrells as Danielle and Brandon welcome their first child while us “old folks” stand ready, willing and more than able to spoil our first grandchild. And I’m 100 percent sure that Danielle’s and Brandon’s numerous friends will want a piece of that spoiling effort.

Brody Ray has already stolen my heart, much like his mom did 28-plus years ago. I’ve already got big plans for he and “Papa” as he grows older, to include introducing the boy to the farm life in beautiful downtown Northampton County. Perhaps we’ll go shoot a mess of squirrels or find us a fishing hole with plenty of brim beds. And I’ll be sure to share all my secrets about how to attract and win over the fairer sex…..well at least I’ll tell him the parts I can remember.

But I’m getting way ahead of myself. For now, Brody Ray is just learning his new environment in downtown Colerain. He does what all newborns do….sleep, eat, poop, and repeat.

As a bit of wise advice to Danielle and Brandon, enjoy these simple times in your lives. Before you can blink, Brody Ray will be talking and walking…blink again and he’ll be heading to school for the first time….blink again and he’ll be driving a car; bringing home his first girlfriend for ya’ll to meet; placing a ring on the finger of his love in life; and welcoming a child of his own. Take the time to enjoy all the treasures of life that Brody Ray will bring your way.

I would be remiss without mentioning how proud I was of my daughter last Tuesday. As Brandon so accurately summed it up after Brody Ray entered the world, he has a whole new respect for Danielle. To be there while she “labored” to give birth, we all realized how tough a woman really is. The end result of that labor is worth every pain.

And I really need to give a “shout out” to the OB department at VidantRoanoke-ChowanHospital. I don’t remember all the names of the nurses assisting Dr. Madhu Parmar, but each and every one of you are #1 in my book.

The only thing missing last Tuesday morning was my parents, Ray and Blanche Bryant, and Deborah’s dad and mom, Louis and Mamie Vann. They would have been equally as proud of their granddaughter, as well as welcoming their new great-grandson. But they were there as guardian angels.

Brody Ray Harrell….welcome to the world. You will not have to search for love….it’s already found you!

Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at or 252-332-7207.        

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal